The data tells the story … we’ve had good rain in the Huon in the first week of October, but the Weather Bureau rainfall anomaly map for September (top image) shows below-average rainfall in the south-west and west of Tasmania.
Lake Gordon is still half empty (bottom image).
It wasn’t long ago when Lake Gordon hit a record low of 46m below full capacity.
That was in March 2016, during a drought, and when the Bass Strait cable also broke, creating extra hydro-power demand.
The lake was so low the government worried that silt might damage the turbines.
On a lighter note, watch the impressive video below and try to tell me thylacines are not still here.
Miles and miles of rugged country where no one sets foot.
The bounty-hunting tiger trappers who plied the state from the 1830s didn’t hit the remote south-west much because it was hard country and not as productive.
However, it was well-noted that thylacines lived in rugged country right across the state.
The south-west was known to have fewer animals of all kinds than the fertile north, but thylacines were recorded there.
They were recorded in the Huon, including the “Monster of Mountain River”, an animal that scared some locals in 1949 before (apparently) disappearing back into the wilderness.
Often repeated claims that thylacines only lived on the plains are untrue, as historic reports make it clear they liked rugged areas away from people.
As a Tasmanian of 10 years, living on a farm that borders the south-west wilderness, the mystery for me is no longer whether they exist.
The mystery is why they have not grown in numbers and moved back to areas they were once known to inhabit, given that they are no longer culled by bounty hunters, and have presumably survived the mange disease that greatly lessened their numbers around 1910.
Are there too many domestic and feral dogs around now, scaring them off?
Or is it because the Tasmanian emus, which went extinct in the 1860s, are no longer a reliable food source to bring them out into more open country?
Thylacines were rarely seen even before the bounty days. They were always elusive.
The thing that changed somewhere along the way was that people stopped believing the eyewitness reports.
Thylacine sightings never stopped. It is unlikely all the witnesses are deluded or mistaken.
The great Tasmanian fox cull around 2012 was arguably the true delusion, but there were dollars to be made, so perhaps it wasn’t so crazy for those involved.